Welcome to the UMKC Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

The CJC Department serves more than 250 students, preparing them for careers in law enforcement, courts, criminology, and correctional systems through exposure to a wide range of coursework. The Faculty in the CJC Department are dedicated to preparing today's undergraduate and graduate students to become future leaders in the criminal justice system and related systems.

Mission Statement

The Criminal Justice and Criminology Department offers students the opportunity to learn how to analyze and interpret systems of social control that are applied through the criminal justice system and throughout society, as well as how to explain the causes and consequences of these social structures. This major focuses on crime, criminals, victims, and professionals who handle these concerns through arrest, court processing, and punishments. As such the major emphasizes community engagement and service to prepare students for the jobs and leadership opportunities that will be necessary for their role as future change agents. The major offers skills in critical thinking and in conducting and evaluating research, which promote evidence-based decision-making and effective communication. Always striving for best practices, this major is especially relevant to the urban engagement mission of the University and its domain is always situated within inclusive learning environments which demand students become culturally competent individuals in order to understand and thrive in society.

We offer two degree programs for students: a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Interesting facts


Our faculty are nationally renowned for their scientific research efforts.

Our students go on to careers in law enforcement, court settings, corrections, social service agencies, and advocacy.

Two of our students recently completed internships at the highly selective FBI-Kansas City Field Office.

“It is important that the classroom atmosphere be one in which students feel free to discuss the topics being covered and express their opinions — even when we are covering controversial issues such as race, ethnicity and crime.”

Toya Like, Ph.D. Associate Professor

The average class size at UMKC is just 27 students.

More than 11,000 students receive financial aid— a total of $150 million each year.

“Every opportunity, theoretical concepts that provide the foundation of Criminal Justice and Criminology are linked to real-world practice and application.”

Alex Holsinger, Ph.D. Professor

“My students and I encourage and challenge each other to critically think about our social realities and to evolve as individuals.”

Jessica Hodge, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

“The CJC Department helped me to develop a higher understanding of the legal system and how it operates which, in turn, helped prepare me for the LSAT examination and ultimately, law school.”

Audrey McCormick B.A., 2007

UMKC alumni include state politicians, CEOs of prominent national firms, a former FBI director and even a U.S. president.